Today, we bring up Otto Octavius' tendency to recite a certain descriptor in number six of our list of Things we learned from the Superior Spider-Man series. 

Number 6: Spock loves to use the word 'superior'

When Otto first declared in Amazing Spider-Man #700 that he would be "The Superior Spider-Man", I don't think any of us realised how dead set he was on perpetuating that. Time and again he would take every opportunity to enunciate that particular adjective with relish, using it mostly in reference to himself, not because he desired to improve himself, but because he believed that he was already the perfect hero, totally deserving of the mantle of Spider-Man. In reality, he was arrogant as well as obnoxious, and his constant referral to himself as superior was the most blatant aspect of his ego, which was by far his biggest character flaw.

But it didn't stop there, oh no. Otto's obsession with this descriptor spilled into a couple of his other projects, such as when he forcibly united his former Sinister Six allies into a new team, which he dubbed "The Superior Six", or when he fought Luke Cage for leadership of the Mighty Avengers, wanting to dub them "The Superior Avengers". To be honest, I'm surprised Ock didn't name his henchmen Superior-Lings instead of Spider-Lings.

He loved the word so much that eventually, he began to get it into his head that he owned the sole rights to use it, as when Superior Carnage, aka Dr. Karl Malus proclaimed that he was a "superior model" to Cletus Kasady in Superior Carnage #4, Otto was openly disgusted that Malus would dare to use the word, declaring that it takes brains, speed, cunning and power to make someone superior, though he notably missed out integrity and empathy, qualities that Peter Parker embodied (for the most part). 

In fact Marvel itself seemed to catch this bug (well, arachnid really), as they proceeded to create an entire brand of comics with "Superior" in the title. Avenging Spider-Man was replaced with the gimmicky-sounding Superior Spider-Man, which featured appearances from The Avengers & Scarlet Spider. Carnage received another miniseries in the form of Superior Carnage, which saw the titular symbiote thrown from host to host, and the newest incarnation of the Sinister Six (who were only left with five members after the events of SuperiorSpider-Man #1) won over critics and fans alike in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, which has even managed to outlive the very title it was spun-off from.

For all his blustering and pomposity though, deep down, Otto knew the truth, that he was far from superior, and that his hubris was simply a way of overcompensating. While he finally admitted this to Ghost Peter in Superior Spider-Man #30, he came exceedingly close in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #8, where, after the failure of his "Superior Six", he realised his arrogance and sought to reveal his true identity to the Avengers, only to run into the insufferable and equally arrogant Sub Mariner, who, after laughing in his face at his admittance that he was inferior, proceeded to give him the worst pep talk ever ("Never are better than the people you protect.")! It didn't stop Otto from decking him right in the face and ordering him to stay out of New York, but the words had done the damage by then, and Otto returned to his full, egotistical self as "Spider-Man", not Spider-Man, "the Superior Spider-Man!" (Which means that we should really be blaming Goblin Nation on Namor as well.)

- written by Donovan


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